Appalachia Holidays in Appalachia

The Back Porch Steps


As I’ve grown older sweet thoughts of childhood have grown sweeter still. As I go about my day I’ll often find myself remembering the simplest of memories from days gone by. Lately most of those memories have centered around Granny.

From the silly and ridiculous memories to the precious and heart warming ones I’ve found myself thinking of her often. It’s probably because I want to soak up every ounce of mother from her that I can get while she’s still here.

Estelle Darrow Rice is a phenomenal poet, who often writes of home and days gone by. Today I’m sharing one of her poems about home and mother with you.

                     “The Back Porch Steps”

             Lilies of the Valley, their tiny bells

                     as white and innocent

                   as a child’s dream, grew

                  beside our back porch steps,

             where in the evening Mother and I

                 watered her rose garden.

        Sometimes we sang, but mostly we talked.

      We planned to decorate my playhouse curtains

              with rick-rack. We’d fill a window box

                  with pansies and petunias.

            These were the things we talked about

                         When I was ten.

                 Now my dreams transport me

                 to that time when she and I

                 sat on the back porch steps.

                  I still hear her gentle voice,

                        and her laughter.

              I remember the fragrance of roses

                   and I am certain I hear

               the tinkling of tiny white bells.


Last fall Estelle lost her husband Nevin. They had been married for 71 years. Isn’t that amazing? They knew one another since they were in school and raised three daughters together. I haven’t got to see Estelle in more than a few years, but I bet she’s still writing poetry and I know she’s still smiling her lovely smile.


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  • Reply
    Donna Isaac
    June 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

    If I could be so bold–love the poem and would like to mention my very first collection of poetry, Footfalls, all about growing up in the Appalachian region. Check out (I think the Blind Pig and Acorn folk may like it.)

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    May 11, 2018 at 4:42 am

    yes tipper..i too have been nostalgic for the olden days too.. my mother has been gone now for 9 years…im gald we were able to share many days together….I loved the poem, lily of the valleys are one of my favorite flowers….I hope you have a happy mothers day…sending love and big ladybug hugs to you..give granny a kiss for me

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Awesome , 71 years married, …. precious poem, precious people, precious memories, how they do linger, ….. I’m so glad

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    What a sweet poem, thanks!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Lovely poem. Porch steps, Screened Porches, Rocking Chairs, Porch Swings, even a large draping tree branch – all reminders to slow down, appreciate, dream, reminisce, and make memories.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 11:02 am

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mom’s out there. Tipper, You’re a Good Mama and I know Chitter and Chatter think so. You and the Deer Hunter are good friends and I appreciate that.

    I Miss my mama even more since it’s getting close to Mother’s Day. All my brothers and mom and dad have been gone on to be with the Lord and I’ll join them someday.

    I enjoyed the Poem today. …Ken

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 10:21 am

    What a treasure of a poem! What I love about good poetry is it takes the mundane and makes it almost magical when written. This poem did this magnificently, and an ordinary time became a beautiful memory. I just love poetry, and thank Estelle for a poem that says so much. I thank her for sharing this memory with us. We all have fragrances and sounds that can bring back such dear memories.

    Happy Mother’s Day to the one who brings us a variety of interesting tidbits each morning, Tipper. My grandson made me smile when I saw he had signed his mom’s card with his full name, and it looked so formal. Memories, just making sweet memories when and where we are able!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    May 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Oh, Tipper, thank you! What a lovely poem! What a stunning photo!

  • Reply
    Andrea Burch
    May 10, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Thank you for sharing this beauiful poem. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
    Reading it evoked such feelings of sweet simplicity and peace in my heart.
    I’ve not written any poems about my mom or grandmothers but I have written everything I remember about my grandmother…’s almost like being with her again.
    My mom and I often say to each other “I kin ye Bonnie Bee,” a phrase taken from the book
    The Education of Little Tree. We are saying to each other “I love you and I love living in understanding with you.” My mama is such a joy in my life.
    Happy Mother’s Day Tipper, your blog brings such pleasure to my life

  • Reply
    Sue Stormoen
    May 10, 2018 at 8:24 am

    I’m a northern girl who has fallen in love with your posts. I lost my mom 13 years ago and I still miss her so much. I just want to share a cup of coffee with her. When mybkids ask this year what I would like for Mother’s Day, I will answer, “to share a cup of coffee with you.”
    Thank you for your gentle tributes to tradition and family.
    God Bless – Sue

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 10, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Somewhere among those simplest of memories is a secret of a successful life. I once heard someone say, “Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.” I have read there is a stage of life that is about the legacy we leave. But it doesn’t work so well to try to cram one in at the last minute. For most of us, it is not a big thing done late but a big think made as the sum of many little things we call ‘fond memories’.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 10, 2018 at 7:36 am

    That sure is a beautiful flower you photoed, Tip!
    Lovely poem and sweet, sweet thoughts of your mom.
    My condolences for Estelle, 71 years that’s a long time she must have married the year I was born.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 5:39 am

    My Mamaw was precious to me, she lived beside us growing up, I will never forget the day she left us, and where I was at work, she had just gotten a pass on her Doctor’s visit, a clean bill of health according to the professional field but we know who holds life in his hands and he decided she needed to go home, effects me till this day July 9th 1984, I’m so glad there was little if any suffering, gonna see her one day along with Papaw.

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